Zoning Matters More Than Taxes
We also want to be clear that taxes aren’t the only answer, or the main answer. The amount of housing the city can build with a head tax, or any tax, is nominal. The change that can make a major difference is to neighborhood zoning, which will lead to more home-building.
The Problem Is There Aren’t Enough Homes to Buy
Seattle’s home prices have increased 45% over the past three years, but that price increase has somehow only decreased the supply of homes for sale. The number of listings in Seattle has declined for 43 straight months. Since 2010, the number of residents per home for sale has tripled. Redfin alone had almost as many home-buying customers in Seattle for the month of April as there were homes for sale here on any given day that month, and Redfin is one of nearly a thousand brokerages in town.
“What Seattle does impacts us as a region,” she said. “I think we will get some people coming over to the Eastside and enjoying our friendlier policies over here.”
“In national and global markets there is no differentiation between Seattle and the three cities of the Innovation Triangle,” Phillips said in an email. “We are all Seattle and we all have this head tax. We have already had to explain to a couple of clients that things are different here.”